It will be seen from what has preceded that I lost no time that could be avoided in moving the Army of the Potomac from the Peninsula to the support of the Army of Virginia; that I spared no effort to hasten the embarkation of the troops at Fort Monroe, Newport News, and Yorktown, remaining at Fort Monroe myself until the mass of the army had sailed, and that after my arrival at Alexandria I left nothing in my power undone to forward supplies and re-enforcements to General Pope. I sent with the troops that moved all the cavalry I could get hold of. Even my personal escort was sent out upon the line of the railway as a guard, with the provost and camp guards at headquarters, retaining less than 100 men, many of whom were orderlies, invalids, members of bands, &c. All the headquarters teams that arrived were sent out with supplies and ammunition, none being retained even to move the headquarters camp. The squadron that habitually served as my personal escort was left at Falmouth with General Burnside, as he was deficient in cavalry.
I left Washington on the 7th of September. At this time it was known that the mass of the rebel army had passed up the south side of the Potomac in the direction of Leesburg, and that a portion of that army had crossed into Maryland; but whether it was their intention to cross their whole force with a view to turn Washington by a flank movement down the north bank of the Potomac, to move on Baltimore, or to invade Pennsylvania, were questions which at that time we had no means of determining. This uncertainty as to the intentions of the enemy obliged me, up to the 13th of September, to march cautiously, and to advance the army in such order as continually to keep Washington and Baltimore covered, and at the same time to hold the troops well in hand, so as to be able to concentrate and follow rapidly if the enemy took the direction of Pennsylvania, or to return to the defense of Washington if, as was greatly feared by the authorities, the enemy should be merely making a feint with a small force to draw off our army, while with their main forces they stood ready to seize the first favorable opportunity to attack the capital.
In the mean time the process of reorganization, rendered necessary after the demoralizing effects of the disastrous campaign upon the other side of the Potomac, was rapidly progressing: the troops were regaining confidence, and their former soldierly appearance and discipline were fast returning. My cavalry was pushed out continually in all directions, and all possible steps were taken to learn the positions and movements of the enemy.
The following table shows the movements of the army from day to day up to the 14th of September:
Command. September September September September
4 6 9 10
9th Seventh- Leesborou- Brookville
Corps, street gh..... ......
1st Upton's .....do... ...do....
12th Tennally- Rockville. Middle- Damascus
Corps, town.... ...... brook....
2nd ...do.... ....do... ...do... Clarksburg
6th Alexandria Tennally- Darnestown Barnes-
Corps, Seminary town ville
Couch's Tennally- Offutt's Mouth of Pooles-
division town Cross- Seneca ville
Sykes' ......... Tennallyt- Rockville Rockville